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Molly P. O’Sullivan, Matthew R. Nagy, Shannon S. Block, Trevor R. Tooley, Leah E. Robinson, Natalie Colabianchi, and Rebecca E. Hasson

Both acute and chronic exposure to physical activity have been associated with a compensatory reduction in habitual physical activity in children ( 6 ). Consistent with the ActivityStat hypothesis, when children increase their physical activity levels or energy expenditure in one domain, they may

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Nicola D. Ridgers, Karen E. Lamb, Anna Timperio, Helen Brown, and Jo Salmon

effective interventions are difficult to design and implement because physical activity is complex, and causal mechanisms of physical activity behavior change are poorly understood. 10 Alternatively, it has been argued that individuals may have an set point for daily physical activity (activitystat

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Felix Cronholm, Björn E. Rosengren, Caroline Karlsson, and Magnus K. Karlsson


The activity-stat theory infers that total physical activity (PA) in children is constant, independent of environmental interventions.


We conducted a 3-year prospective population-based controlled PA intervention study including, at baseline, 7- to 9-year-old children (66 boys, 40 girls in the intervention and 50 boys, 38 girls in the control group). PA was increased in the intervention group from 60 to 200 minutes/week, while the controls maintained 60 minutes/week. We registered weekly duration of total PA and leisure-time PA and daily duration of sedentary activities, through questionnaires at baseline and 2 and 3 years after baseline.


Between intervention and control groups PA was similar before intervention start. After intervention start, total PA in both genders was increased during the entire period (P-values adjusted for age and Tanner stage at follow-up between 0.001 and 0.002). Duration of sedentary activities was unchanged with no group differences. Children in the intervention group changed their behavior so that they also achieved more leisure-time PA.


A 3-year school-based PA intervention program in prepubertal children increases the duration of total PA without increasing the duration of sedentary activities, and the program seems to initiate more PA during leisure-time. Our results refute the activity-stat theory.

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Alex V. Rowlands

. When conducting an activity or exercise intervention, the assumption is that the additional activity will increase total PA, and thus, energy expenditure, but this is not always observed, suggesting that people may compensate in some way for the imposed activity by way of an “activitystat” ( 4 , 13

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Jeremy A. Steeves, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Rachel A. Murphy, George A. King, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett, Dane Van Domelen, John M. Schuna Jr, and Tamara B. Harris

majority of working hours, but who also regularly participates in MVPA, such as jogging after work). 39 The ActivityStat hypothesis posits that when PA is increased or decreased in one domain, there is a compensatory change of PA in other domains, allowing the overall level of PA to remain relatively

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Sheri J. Hartman, Dori Pekmezi, Shira I. Dunsiger, and Bess H. Marcus

with greater sedentary time. This suggests that as Latina women became more physically active, they engaged in compensatory resting behaviors. One possible explanation for such findings is the “ActivityStat” hypothesis, which posits that people maintain an overall physical activity set point by

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Rachel Massie, James Smallcombe, and Keith Tolfrey

activitystat hypothesis . Int J Obes . 2011 ; 35 ( 10 ): 1277 – 83 . doi:10.1038/ijo.2011.52 10.1038/ijo.2011.52 21. Goodman A , Mackett RL , Paskins J . Activity compensation and activity synergy in British 8–13 year olds . Prev Med . 2011 ; 53 ( 4-5 ): 293 – 8 . PubMed ID: 21820009 doi:10.1016/j

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Erin K. Howie, Justin M. Guagliano, Karen Milton, Stewart A. Vella, Sjaan R. Gomersall, Tracy L. Kolbe-Alexander, Justin Richards, and Russell R. Pate

. Gomersall SR , Maher C , English C , et al . Testing the activitystat hypothesis: a randomised controlled trial . BMC Public Health . 2016 ; 16 ( 1 ): 900 . PubMed ID: 27576515 doi:10.1186/s12889-016-3568-x 10.1186/s12889-016-3568-x 27576515 54. Guagliano JM , Rosenkranz RR , Kolt GS